University of Kansas Showcases Innovative Architectural Designs in Dezeen School Show

University of Kansas Showcases Innovative Architectural Designs in Dezeen School Show

Students at the University of Kansas impress with their creative and forward-thinking designs, including a sculptural object symbolizing Kansas’s prairies and an airport perched on the Hudson River in New York.

In a showcase of talent and innovation, students from the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design have unveiled their latest architectural designs. From a solar-powered demonstration home to a school for visually impaired students, these projects push the boundaries of design and sustainability. The Dezeen School Show highlights the diverse experiences and hands-on learning opportunities offered by the University of Kansas, fostering a new generation of architects ready to make a positive impact on their communities.

Haven Studio: A Sustainable and Net-Zero Energy Home

Haven Studio, a project by students taking part in the Dirt Works Studio, is a small, solar-powered, net-zero energy home that showcases innovative design and construction techniques. The studio’s emphasis on sustainability is evident in the use of bio-based materials, well-insulated envelopes, and quad-pane windows. The project highlights the importance of natural lighting and passive solar heating, while also incorporating energy-efficient technologies such as mini-split heat pumps and energy recovery ventilators.

River Rock Elementary School for Visually Impaired: Designing for Inclusivity

Liz Putman and Bridgett Espino’s project, River Rock Elementary School for Visually Impaired, addresses the unique challenges faced by the visually impaired population. The school’s design focuses on creating an environment that relies on the other senses and incorporates wayfinding strategies through the use of color, texture, light, and materiality. By emphasizing inclusivity and providing a supportive learning environment, this project aims to empower visually impaired students on their educational journey.

Link KC: Connecting Communities through Public Transit

Aaron Michalicek’s project, Link KC, explores the socioeconomic impacts of connecting Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, through an aerial lift. With the aim of revitalizing the West Bottoms neighborhood, which currently divides the two cities, this project offers a cost-effective solution that combines public transit infrastructure with recreational amenities. By bridging the gap between the two cities, Link KC seeks to foster community engagement and promote economic development.

Vitality: Rethinking Stroke Rehabilitation Facilities

Madeline Bradley and Bridgett Espino’s project, Vitality, focuses on designing a rehabilitation and recovery center for stroke survivors. By rethinking how these facilities are designed and integrated into new models of care, this project aims to enhance the health and well-being of stroke survivors. The evidence-based design incorporates various elements to support rehabilitation, including adaptable spaces, natural lighting, and therapeutic environments that promote physical and mental well-being.

Hospitality for Holistic Wellness: A Culture-Based Healing Journey

Laura Aykroyd and Isiah Gallegos’s project, Hospitality for Holistic Wellness, takes inspiration from the culture of Seoul, South Korea, to create a luxury hotel that provides a healing journey for guests. Through the integration of traditional Korean design principles and modern minimalist aesthetics, the hotel aims to balance the guest’s energy, essence, and spirit. By offering a range of physical and mental resources, the hotel promotes holistic wellness and encourages guests to embrace all aspects of their healing journey.

432 Indiana Street House: Sustainable Design in the Pinkney Neighborhood

Studio 804’s project, 432 Indiana Street House, showcases sustainable design principles in the Pinkney neighborhood of Lawrence, Kansas. This house incorporates several sustainable features and is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The project aligns with the City of Lawrence’s mission to support sustainable development and create a sustainable community for the future. Through the integration of sustainable design elements, Studio 804 demonstrates the potential for environmentally conscious architecture.

The Dancing Tower: A Tiered Building in Paris

Christian Hunn and Julia Gillman’s project, The Dancing Tower, is part of the Paris program offered by the University of Kansas. This tiered building serves as private student apartments, a library and study space, a floating green space, and a rooftop restaurant and bar. The steel structure, highlighted throughout the levels, supports the rotated platforms in a cross-bracing pattern. The design of The Dancing Tower exemplifies the integration of architectural innovation and functionality.

Skyport New York: A Visionary Transportation Hub

Jackson Bontty and Ashlyn Reece’s project, Skyport New York, reimagines transportation in New York City by creating a vital and visionary transportation hub. Located in Hudson Yards, this vertiport connects New York to nearby airports and fosters interconnectivity between all five boroughs. By enhancing the city’s mobility and bringing communities closer together, Skyport New York addresses long-standing transportation gaps and offers unprecedented efficiency in public transit.

Prairie in the Wind: Architectural Simulations of Kansas’s Prairies

Brookelyn Vittitow, Isaac Decker, Louis Cobb, and Kevin Bainter’s project, Prairie in the Wind, explores the mechanism of prairies and translates it into architectural application. The project fabricates a three-dimensional surface defined by the tips of hundreds of individual wood members, mimicking the fluidity and motion of Kansas’s golden prairies. This project exemplifies the integration of nature-inspired design and architectural innovation.

Solport-SkyHive: South Korea’s Inaugural Vertiport

Alex Lamoureux and Ethan Overland’s project, Solport-SkyHive, introduces South Korea’s first mass timber skyscraper and vertiport. Drawing inspiration from the Korean red pine, the modular design of Solport-SkyHive mimics the growth of a flourishing tree, allowing it to adapt and expand as needed. This sustainable and innovative structure seamlessly integrates into Seoul’s transportation system, revolutionizing public transit in the city.


The University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design continues to showcase its commitment to innovative and sustainable design through the impressive projects of its students. From sustainable homes to inclusive schools and visionary transportation hubs, these projects demonstrate the power of architecture to shape communities and enhance the well-being of individuals. The Dezeen School Show highlights the importance of hands-on learning experiences and the impact of design education in creating a better future.